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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Greetings! I'm here from the B6 sub-section where I'm retiring my '06 3.6 4Mo (146k miles), and moving on in life with a '12 TDI SEL with the DSG. This will most likely be a work log and I may do some mods if life/time/money permits.

I bought her about a week ago (July 10 2020), with just shy of 79k on the clock. I've already put 700 miles on her as unfortunately she is destined to be my work car.

She has a few dings on her (but thankfully none that can be easily seen more than 10 feet away), has some rust bubbles starting where the driver door meets the front fender / rocker, has a few scratches that will need filled, and the Dinamica portion of the light seats (which was the worst idea VW ever had) need cleaned since they are stained from 8 years of pants, and the DRL bulbs are out.

VW 'fix' was done Mar 16 2020.

Things I've already done:
- Resecured the rear deck subwoofer since all the bolts had already fallen out but one
- Spilled a couple ounces of Power Service Diesel Kleen in the trunk :banghead::banghead::banghead::banghead::banghead:
- Put 5oz or so of the Diesel Kleen in the tank on my first actual fill up

I already have VCDS from my B6.


Things I'm currently looking for:
- Firmware update on the RNS510 to v4366 - mine is on an original v2XXX and is so miserably slow.
- V12 map update (US)
---Does anyone have any copies of these? I know they can be bought from the dealer (ouch $) or from eBay sellers who are just re-selling the .iso they copied from someone else..
I currently don't use the RNS510 for navigation as the maps are so outdated it adds usually 40 minutes to the route when I'm going somewhere.

Future plans:
-Tint, probably 35% or so on the side windows / rear window and 5% on the sunroof because with no tint at all it gets hot as blazes in the car.
-Saving up for DSG Tune
-Saving up for emissions delete when it eventually gives up (and a Malone stage 2 to go along with it, will likely get it flashed at ECS since they're the closest to me)


I currently have an oil service kit, air filter, and fuel filter coming (from ECS), and a DSG service kit coming (from IDParts). Will change those out when they get here as 80k is coming up quick.

Last but not least, here she is:

 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
With good people around such as GolfTango , I was able to get my firmware updated to v4366. Waiting for some blank dual-layer DVDs to arrive before I will be able to update the maps. Still waiting on oils and filters to arrive. Drove all of 900 miles in the TDI this past week!
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Work today (80,054 miles):
- Changed air filter
- Changed fuel filter - was glad I did, it had never been changed in 80,000 miles, was the VW OEM one stamped Feb 2011....
- Oil service - most of the time was spent trying to get the dang oil filter and cap out from where it is buried (big hands, small space) and getting the belly pan off.
- Cabin air filter was changed the day I got the car as I had one for my B6 (same part). Old was one 8 years old..

One thing I did notice is this car rusts a lot faster than my '06. My '06 lived in northern Ohio almost all its life and was still pretty new underneath. My '12 is also from up north and the DSG pan is pretty rusty and the front subframe has some rust as well, along with the rust on the driver's side front rocker. The B6 only has rust where there was paint damage. German made vs. Tennessee made I guess :D :screwy: . Hit the rust spots with rust reformer while I was under there.

Noticed the bottom end is a lot smoother when fuel can properly be filtered instead of trying to be sucked through an 8 year old filter. Check your fuel filter people!

DSG service kit should be here Wednesday but will not be able to be done until next Wednesday, so at approx. 81,000 miles.
 

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Work today (80,054 miles):
- Changed air filter
- Changed fuel filter - was glad I did, it had never been changed in 80,000 miles, was the VW OEM one stamped Feb 2011....
- Oil service - most of the time was spent trying to get the dang oil filter and cap out from where it is buried (big hands, small space) and getting the belly pan off.
- Cabin air filter was changed the day I got the car as I had one for my B6 (same part). Old was one 8 years old..

One thing I did notice is this car rusts a lot faster than my '06. My '06 lived in northern Ohio almost all its life and was still pretty new underneath. My '12 is also from up north and the DSG pan is pretty rusty and the front subframe has some rust as well, along with the rust on the driver's side front rocker. The B6 only has rust where there was paint damage. German made vs. Tennessee made I guess :D :screwy: . Hit the rust spots with rust reformer while I was under there.

Noticed the bottom end is a lot smoother when fuel can properly be filtered instead of trying to be sucked through an 8 year old filter. Check your fuel filter people!

DSG service kit should be here Wednesday but will not be able to be done until next Wednesday, so at approx. 81,000 miles.
My 13 was from the Lake George NY area and has some surface rust on the subframe/suspension parts. But the body is rust free. Maybe it had some prior bodywork?
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
My 13 was from the Lake George NY area and has some surface rust on the subframe/suspension parts. But the body is rust free. Maybe it had some prior bodywork?
The CarFax for the car was clean, no accidents, so unless something went unreported I don't think any bodywork has been done. Does the windshield / anything drain in that area? Its bubbling right where the front door, fender, and rocker meet, right at that seam. It doesn't reach the leading edge of the rocker. Perhaps lack of cleaning during the winter months has pummeled it too much with saltwater and gotten through the paint?
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
DSG service today at 80,800 miles.

Took like 5 hours as I did top fill and had nothing better because I suck at planning. Ordering the fancy adapter from from one of the sites before the next changer. Old oil was still gold. Did the VW method of overfill and burp. Good to go.
 

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DSG service today at 80,800 miles.

Took like 5 hours as I did top fill and had nothing better because I suck at planning. Ordering the fancy adapter from from one of the sites before the next changer. Old oil was still gold. Did the VW method of overfill and burp. Good to go.
I was on the fence if I wanted to order the kit and do it myself, or bring it to the dealer and cough up $240 for the service. I did the later.

The 40K is a fluid drain and fill. The 80K service includes the filter, did you do the filter?
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
I was on the fence if I wanted to order the kit and do it myself, or bring it to the dealer and cough up $240 for the service. I did the later.

The 40K is a fluid drain and fill. The 80K service includes the filter, did you do the filter?

I did the filter as well. Next time around I'm going to bottom fill with an adapter from one of the various vendors (it's like $12), and I'll use a hand transfer pump ($10?) to pump the fluid. Sitting there basically drizzling the fluid into the filter hole for hours on end wasn't very fun. I had some pieces of hose around the house but underestimated how small the flow hole in the filter housing is so I couldn't use it for a gravity fed funnel. A very easy job once you wrestle the air box out but time consuming without the proper (whether the expensive VW gear or homemade stuff) setup.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Did some VCDS tweaks this morning:

-Turned on HVAC staging (LED sweep)
-Tried to turn on Cluster Needle Sweep but since mine is a 2012 it wasn't supported
-Enabled open sunroof with remote (wish I could do windows too, but 2012 cannot do this)
-Changed voice command button to mute button
-Change headlight voltage to 13V (was 12.8V), tails already at 13V
-Enabled fog lights on with highbeams on
-Disabled voice control for RNS510 (I never used it and read it will make it marginally faster)

A little bummed about not being able to have cluster sweep since it's so fancy but it's not worth investing any additional resources into.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
As always happens to me no matter what I drive, the car picked up a door ding from another car. Rear Passenger side. No paint damage, but annoying as ^%*(. I also isolated the deck subwoofer with some thick rubber washers from Lowe's (5/16 x 3/4 x 1/16), Hillman P/N 880370, placed between the deck and the car metal. Found some red Loc-Tite so those suckers should never come loose again. Deck no longer rattles, but other stuff in car does. :banghead:
 

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Did some VCDS tweaks this morning:

-Turned on HVAC staging (LED sweep)
-Tried to turn on Cluster Needle Sweep but since mine is a 2012 it wasn't supported
-Enabled open sunroof with remote (wish I could do windows too, but 2012 cannot do this)
-Changed voice command button to mute button
-Change headlight voltage to 13V (was 12.8V), tails already at 13V
-Enabled fog lights on with highbeams on
-Disabled voice control for RNS510 (I never used it and read it will make it marginally faster)

A little bummed about not being able to have cluster sweep since it's so fancy but it's not worth investing any additional resources into.
Did all the same things too, added having the dome lamp on with trunk opening and having the pass side mirror tilt down w/ reverse. I tried to get the auto wipers to work and the sunroof closure to work via the windshield sensor, but alas it never worked.

Additionally I too got a ding in my pass rear door during a road trip to TN last week!
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Now that youve had some to time get used to the car, do you think the fuel filter change was beneficial? Also how do you like the hydraulic power steering?
I think the fuel filter change was worth it. The old filter was very dark and I'm sure it was restricting flow. I didn't notice any real performance or MPG gain with a fresh one but I'm sure it made the fuel pump happier.

And I think you mean the electric power steering? I had a 2006 Passat 3.6 4Mo that had electric power steering so it feels the same to me.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 · (Edited)
Not great update.

On Wednesday, a belt in one of my tires let go (cheap Fuzion Touring tires that were on it when I bought it but still had 9/32 tread). Drove 700 miles on it (for work) then finally got under the car today to verify that was the issue. Found all four tires were out of round plus both rears had belt damage. Rims were not measured but all seemed true enough (placed a vertical board just touching the rim and saw if it wobbled in or pushed the board any). I'm poor, so I can't afford new tires that aren't cheap Chinesium ones that will be junk in a year. I drove an hour to a used tire guy who put two Goodyear Eagle Sports (9/32) on the front and two Michelin Pilots (7/32) on the rear since I can't afford new tires right now (my DSG tune fund is now $0 again :thumbdown: ). Watched him balance them all, all were very close to perfect when he was done. Drove home, noticed the car now pulls fairly hard to the right when it used to drive bullet straight. Also found that I now have serious death wobble at 70mph on the highway when before it was a moderate vibration.

Got her home, pulled the fronts off, made sure the weights were on, everything looked fine. Reinstalled using a torque wrench. Got under the car, all bushings, tie rod ends, sway bar bushings, wheel bearings, hubs, etc, all are fine and tight. I did notice that one of the tires was mounted backwards :banghead: (they are non-directional but asymmetrical tread).

There is zero vibration in my seat, so the issue is isolated to the front end.

Probably going to make the hour trip back out to get him to turn it around and re-balance it to see if that makes a difference,and failing that, putting the rears on the fronts and seeing what happens there.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Forget used tires. If you're on a budget, this is your best bang for buck for 4 new tires installed and balanced. Definity HP100, these are made by Cooper. Right now, buy two get two free. You can get 4 tires mounted and balanced for less than $390.

https://www.pepboys.com/definity-hp100/tires/1664281?quantity=4&seeFullPrice=true

Starfires are another budget, but decent tire:

https://www.pepboys.com/starfire-solarus-as/tires/2184812?quantity=4
Thank you, I'll keep these bookmarked. Unfortunately the money is already spent, but I already have my savings set for new tires. These will just be a temporary thing so I can continue working until I can spring the new ones. I wont be able to get the B2G2 deal, but at least I know there are some decent budget tires after how bad those Fuzions got.

Took the car back today, pulled the fronts off, he switched the one around, and rebalanced both of them as accurate as his machine could get. We [me, my father, and the shop guy](visually, so not truly accurate I know) checked for any runout or possible belt damage but found none. Tires barely have the nipples gone. Less than 1oz of weight was needed per side. The fronts are under two years old and the rears are almost three.

Still pulls to the right (albeit much less) and has the same vibration around 70, however I noticed it seems random.
Some hills it vibrates badly, sometimes none at all. Same for downward slopes and flatland, as well as curves. Same on all road types (old pavement, concrete, new pavement). Rides smooth as silk below 65 mph. Vibration continued up to 80mph but that's all the faster I went.
Stopped at a local shop on the way home that I know a guy at and had him just pull the tires off and put them on the balance machine, they all reported still balanced properly, and he only charged me $5 since they didn't really do any work.

Have not yet switched the tires side to side or front to back yet (didn't occur to me to do this while it was in the air but I was irritated). I looked into swaybar bushing replacement as a preventative measure (A few threads here and there mentioned that the early NMS Passats had ones that went out early) but I was very disappointed to find out that they "cannot" be replaced. First car I've seen that on personally. So a ~$20 replacement now looks like $200 for an OE one if I go that route.

In other news, I enjoy how little the MPG drops on this car when using the A/C. Typically you see a big drop on small / low horsepower engines since they have to work much harder when the compressor clutch kicks in, but I would think since the compressor runs all the time on VWs it already is "mostly" already working as much as it does when running so there is minimal mileage drop.
 

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In other news, I enjoy how little the MPG drops on this car when using the A/C. Typically you see a big drop on small / low horsepower engines since they have to work much harder when the compressor clutch kicks in, but I would think since the compressor runs all the time on VWs it already is "mostly" already working as much as it does when running so there is minimal mileage drop.
My guess is a belt slipped or something and is why they are pulling/wobbling.


I did a CT to TN run 82-86 mph, ac on, with four people and luggage. Returned over 36 mpg.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Update! Not much to report, about 50% of the wobbles have gone away from the tires (I lost my job and so new tires went out the window), and it seems to follow the road to the extreme rather than pull to one side? If I'm in the passing lane, the car pulls left, goes dead straight in middle lanes on big highways, and pulls right in right hand lanes. :screwy:

In other news, A few months back I bought some of the plastic nut covers from eBay (knockoffs) for $6. Decided to put them on the NMS today, got 19 of them on... and only had 19. Pulled them off, and found the plastic was super soft so more than half were destroyed taking them off. Oh well. Spent a couple hours with some Meguiar's Ultimate Compound and buffed some scratches out. Most came out really easy by hand - is our clear coat that soft? I've tried to buff scratches out of my last car by hand (2014 Challenger) and they weren't having it. Will need to pick up a paint pen for some deep scratches (I have a 10 inch scratch on the hood down to the black coating on the metal) but since the car is Tungsten I'll have to call dealers since AutoZone / Advanced doesn't have that color, only Reflex Silver. All the ones on eBay are from the UK or Lithuania, and ordering OEM online won't arrive at my door until December.

I was considering wheels for (way) down the road, and was looking through all the OEM options and found the 2014ish Beetle R-Line wheels. I saw a set for sale on Facebook a while back that a guy had on his Passat NMS, and liked the look.. but I could never find another picture of them. They seem to be non-existent for sale (besides new) as well.

 
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